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New £2m community hub with nursery, cafe and soft play gets green light

PUBLISHED: 16:54 12 November 2019 | UPDATED: 17:12 12 November 2019

An artist's impression for the new look Jubilee Hall. Pic: YMCA.

An artist's impression for the new look Jubilee Hall. Pic: YMCA.

YMCA

A new £2m community hub, including a nursery, cafe and soft play area, has been given the go-ahead.

YMCA Norfolk chief executive Tim Sweeting. Picture: Ella WilkinsonYMCA Norfolk chief executive Tim Sweeting. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

YMCA Norfolk has been granted permission by planners at Norwich City Council to revamp the Jubilee Hall in Aylsham Road.

The hall used to be home to the Royal British Legion but closed in 2014. It was bought by the Lind Trust the following year, which donated it to YMCA Norfolk.

And YMCA Norfolk chief executive Tim Sweeting said he was delighted the city council had granted permission and the YMCA board of trustees agreed the Ofsted registered nursery in the revamped centre should aim to open in January 2021.

Mr Sweeting said: "We are really excited to be able to get on with delivering this community resource that will enable people to invest back in their local area while enjoying a coffee or great childcare."

Jubilee Hall in Aylsham Road. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYJubilee Hall in Aylsham Road. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Profits from activities at the Nourish Cafe and Carvery and the soft play centre will be reinvested in local community provision, including a new youth club.

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The centre will also include staff offices, with YMCA Norfolk's head office team due to move there from Exchange Street in autumn next year.

Louise Hinchley, head of YMCA Norfolk's families team, said of the nursery: "It will encourage children to be curious and adventurous in their play and learning so they grow in appreciation of the world around them and feel ready for the transition to school when the time comes."

Meanwhile, the charity is continuing to raise money towards the £2m project.

Susie Knights, YMCA Norfolk fundraising manager, said: "Huge thanks to Norwich Freeman's Charity, The Lind Trust, Norwich City Council, the John Jarrold Trust, The Geoffrey Watling Charity and Anguish Educational Foundation for their early support in our fundraising campaign.

"We are encouraging the public to get involved in hosting their own fundraising events, with the support of our marketing and fundraising department.

"We would love to hear from individuals, community groups or businesses that can offer financial or practical support to take this innovative project forward."

Visit www.justgiving.com/campaign/ymcanorfolkcommunityhub to find out how to help with the fundraising drive.

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